Poster for The Wild Goose Lake showing a couple sitting in a train

The Wild Goose Lake

Diao Yinan | China/France | 2019

Director: Diao Yinan
Producer: Li Li
Screenplay: Diao Yinan
Cinematography: Dong Jingsong
Editors: Kong Jinlei, Matthieu Laclau
Music: B6
Hu Ge (Zhou Zenong)
Gwei Lunmei (Liu Aiai)
Liao Fan (Captain Liu)
Wan Qian (Yang Shujun)
Qi Dao (Huahua)
Huang Jue (Yan Ge)

Rating: R16 violence, cruelty & content that may disturb Runtime: 113 minutes

A neon-tinged neo-noir, Diao Yinan’s film follows a gangster hiding from the cops through a night of grimy noodle shops, dimly lit railway stations and dank gambling houses in (pre-Covid) Wuhan, while the police attempt to ensnare him.

Diao makes full use of noir tropes like flashback, voiceover, a convoluted plot and pouring rain, and adds his own distinct touches, the most notable being a full and luscious colour overlay – The Wild Goose Lake could be a Wong Kar Wai film, and occasionally explodes into full blown action – bike chases are as deftly handled as the quiet conversations over a mahjong board.

Shown at the 2019 New Zealand International Film Festival but otherwise without a wide release, we are very much looking forward to seeing its shootouts and storms on the Embassy screen.

“A film that doesn’t hit you like a tidal wave as much as it gradually washes over you, leaving in its wake a series of memorable set-pieces and a dense, dark web of violence and fatality.” 

Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter.


Jun 26 2023


6:15 pm - 8:10 pm